Order Tracking

 Introduction
The Order Tracking component is a very complete tool allowing you to manage the different steps in the life cycle of an order. You have a lot of room for maneuver when configuring this component. That being said, before customizing this tool, it is very important to understand the different elements associated to the description of an order and the different scenarios that may occur during the ordering process.
 
 Payment Status
When a visitor places an order on your site, it is automatically recorded and you receive an email notification (concerning this subject, never forget that emails aren't 100% reliable and the list of orders available in your site's administration space is the only official version). If you sell e-products (files to be downloaded) and you use an instant payment processor (one that gives an immediate response as to the validity of a transaction), there is nothing left for you to do because the process is completely automated. With their email invoice, the customer will receive instructions concerning the file download that they have purchased the rights to. However, it is highly likely that you sell material goods that require the shipment of products. In this case, it is essential that you understand the importance of the payment status because this is what will dictate how the order will be dealt with.

The following table summarises the different states of payment and the resulting actions that need to be carried out:
Payment Status Description Action(s)
Contacting Payment Processor This state of payment is a specific case linked to payment on the Internet. Indeed, in the most cases, the payment operation (the moment when the buyer enters their credit card information) is performed on a bank server (belonging to the merchant's bank). Before calling this page, the order is recorded in your order tracking database and placed in this theoretically temporary state. However, it's possible that the buyer then abandons the payment when they're on the bank's website by closing their Internet browser. In this case, Actinic servers don't necessarily receive a notification confirming this abandonment and the order stays in this state. To conclude, an order in this state is to be considered as an abandoned order. You can view this order (for reference only) but no further action is necessary on your part, unless you want to try to contact the customer for more information! Consider the order to be abandoned. No special action required.
Contacting Payment Processor
with Reception of Error Email from your Bank
The customer filled their shopping cart, confirmed their order, and wants to pay. The Actinic system has recorded their order in the "Contacting Payment Processor" state. Afterwards, the customer paid on the secure payment page of your bank and the payment was accepted. However, your bank couldn't confirm this payment validation with the Actinic servers (numerous explanations are possible, in particular a problem concerning the load on the Internet network). Therefore, with Actinic, this order remains in the "Contacting Payment Processor" state. Most often, in this type of scenario, your bank sends you a "backup procedure" email signaling this problem and confirming the payment. Manually change the payment status of the order to "Payment Confirmed" and treat it like the other orders that are automatically set to this state.
Payment in Process This payment state is reserved for payment by check and certain payment processors. It indicates that the results of the payment require your intervention. With a payment by check, you can modify the payment status to "Payment Confirmed" when you receive the check.

Certain payment processors don't give an immediate response (in real time) concerning the validity of the payment. They will notify you by email in the minutes or hours following the transaction to let you know if the payment was accepted or not. You will modify the payment status of the order when you receive this information by email to confirm or refuse the payment.
For checks: Wait until you receive the check. Possibly contact the customer by email if the payment hasn't been received after 5 days.

For payment processors with delayed confirmation: Wait for the confirmation. If it's taking a long time, feel free to contact the payment agency to find out why.

Change the payment status of the order to "Payment Confirmed" when you receive the check or the notification from the payment processor.
Payment Refused This payment state clearly indicates that all payment attempts have failed and that the bank server couldn't accept the payment method chosen by the user.

Note: You can also change an order to this state if the customer has paid by check and the check is refused by your bank or if there is suspicion of fraud concerning the delivery address.
Do nothing.
Payment Confirmed The payment has been confirmed. This state can be automatically set in two cases:
Case 1) Payment has been performed online via a bank interface and this payment has been confirmed by the bank.
Case 2) You use cash on delivery as a payment method and the order was recorded. Because payment is mandatory when the products are received, this payment is implicitly confirmed.
In the case where the payment was carried out via a bank agency, it is recommended to verify the validity of the payment in the transaction logs provided on the website of the payment agency.
Technical Error This state displays in the rare case of a technical failure Order tracking could not continue automatically. You'll have to follow the order on your bank dashboard.

Once the payment has been confirmed, you have to take the necessary steps to send the product(s) to your customer. This is when the order's state of progress and history come fully into play.
 
 States of Progress
Managing the states of progress of an order is optional. If you don't have very many orders, you may decide to do nothing and provide this information at the request of the customer, which is to say at the receipt of an email from the customer indicating their impatience.

If you decide to manage the states of progress of your orders, you can pursue two goals: get organised and inform the customer. These two goals can be independent or concurrent.

To get organised without informing the customer, you are going to enter information (states of progress) about the orders, but you aren't going to publish this information. In this way, you can easily recognise what needs to be delivered, what has been delivered, what needs to be prepared, what's in litigation, etc. The customer won't have access to this information.

You may also decide to only insert information for the customer (order validated, order shipped, etc.) and to conduct the management of your orders with another tool.

In short, thanks to the "publish" concept that is attached to each state of progress, you can accomplish these two goals at the same time.

Above all, you need to adapt the standard states of progress to the process you follow for handling orders, which differs from one line of work to the next.

The states of progress are specific stages that an order may go through in its lifetime. You are free to define them as you wish in order to adapt them to your activity. Here are some examples of the states of progress that you could define:
Name Comment
Processing Your order has been received and is being prepared. All of the items you ordered are in stock and you will be notified of their shipment within the next 48 hours.
Shipped By FedEx Your order was sent by FedEx today. Your tracking number is "[TO BE COMPLETED]". To track your order, use the number above and go to the FedEx site: http://fedex.com/gb/
Pending (Payment By Check) We are still waiting for the check corresponding to the payment of your order.
Back Order (Out of Stock) One of the items in your order is out of stock. We should receive in within the next 72 hours.
In Production All of our products are made to order. Your order has been received and we've begun to manufacture your goods.

The comment isn't mandatory. In fact, it is important if you decide to use the history of the states of progress and especially if you publish the states of progress for your customers (refer to the following section). Even though this is highly advised against, you can choose not to go through the history and simply modify the current state of the order by editing the order properties. However, this technique isn't adapted to large order volumes because you will quickly forget the reason why an order has been changed to a certain state.

The comment you define isn't used "as is", but is used as a comment "type" that will be used to initialise the definitive comment that you can modify and that will then be inserted in the history. This allows you to work faster and homogenise your histories by systematically basing your comments on models that you can finish or modify.

If desired, you can also select a background colour that will be associated to each state of progress. This colour will be used when the order status is displayed in the history. This functionality allows you to rapidly separate orders whose state requires special monitoring.
 
 Publication of Orders and States of Progress
By default, only orders placed on your site with a "confirmed" or "in process" payment status (such as a check) are visible in the "Your Account" component granted that you've published this component on your site).

You can disregard this default logic and force the publishing status for each order (even those whose payment status is different than the two mentioned above) by modifying the publishing status in the properties of each order.

You aren't obligated to publish the states of progress recorded for your orders and you can reserve this functionality for internal management purposes. However, it is highly recommended to publish information relating to the evolution of an order. All of the leading e-commerce sites use similar systems and this transparency is greatly appreciated by those who regularly purchase goods online. Of course, you can publish certain information and reserve other information for internal use. The component was developed with this in mind to allow for the centralization of all the information in a single history.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to publish state of progress histories, you need to activate the insertion of a link to the order history in the confirmation email that is sent to your customers when the order is recorded. To do this, go to the shopping cart properties ([Commerce\Shopping Cart\"Component - Properties" tab] menu). This link will allow your customers to go directly to their order history, which makes things a lot easier for them.

When you insert a new state in the history of an order, you can decide if you want to publish it for your customer or not. You can also decide if this state of progress should be considered as the new state of the order. Indeed, even if an order goes through a lot of different states, it always has a single current state ("Order Shipped", for example). The current order state is the one that is visible in the main view of your orders. This state can also be modified directly in the order properties. However, this is not recommended (except to correct a mistake) because this could lead to a desynchronization with the history.
 
 Need to rapidly notify a customer regarding an order?
In this case, use the email dispatch functionality directly from the main view of the order tracking component. Simply click on the name of the customer and you will be able to send them an email that will be automatically added to the order history!

In this way, a customer will never be able to say that you didn't do everything possible to contact them!
 
 Learn By Doing!
The best way to understand the workings of the system is to put yourself in the customer's shoes!

To do that, place an order on your own site by using a payment method such as "payment by check".

Next, read the order confirmation email and follow the link leading to the order tracking function just like your customers would do.

Afterwards, in the administration space of your site, modify your order by inserting new states of progress.

Now go back to the order tracking function of the customer using the email you have received to see the evolution of the published states.
 

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